Trump responded with a sombre statement from the White House calling for unity in the face of “an act of pure evil.”
His administration initially refused any talk on gun control following the massacre before relenting slightly saying it would support conversations to ban certain gun accessories.
Here is what else happened this week in the world of Donald J. Trump.
Oct. 5: Calls to ban ‘bump stocks’
The National Rifle Association and some Republicans are calling for additional regulation on the use of “bump stock” gun accessories, which allow rifles to be turned into rapid-fire weapons after a gunman used the device in the Las Vegas shooting.
“We know that members of both parties and multiple organizations are planning to take a look at bump stocks and related devices,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters Thursday.“We certainly welcome that and would like to be part of that conversation.”
Some Democrats have pushed for more.
Dianne Feinstein of California, on Wednesday, introduced legislation banning aftermarket products designed to allow more rapid firing. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi of California called on lawmakers to add various new restrictions, including bolstered background checks of gun purchasers in addition to a ban on bump stocks.
Oct. 4: Tillerson and Trump
Did Secretary of State Rex Tillerson call Donald Trump a moron?
On Wednesday, Tillerson denied reports he was on the verge of resigning earlier this year but didn’t deny he insulted the president following a tense meeting at the Pentagon on July 20.
“We don’t deal with that kind of petty nonsense,” Tillerson said. “I’m just not going to be part of this effort to divide this administration.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump met privately with victims of the Las Vegas shooting at a hospital, while praising police, first responders and medical staff.
“It makes you very proud to be an American when you see the job that they’ve done,” he told reporters, with his wife, first lady Melania Trump, at his side. He added that the hospital “has done a job that is indescribable.”
Also on Wednesday, leaders of the Senate intelligence committee said after nine months of their investigation they haven’t found any evidence on whether Russia colluded with the Trump campaign to steal the 2016 presidential election.
Oct. 3: Trump’s Puerto Rico trip panned
Two weeks after Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, Trump travelled Tuesday to the storm-ravaged island where many are still without electricity and struggling to get food, water and shelter.
His visit was widely criticized after he told a family of hurricane victims to “have a good time,” threw paper towels to people, and highlighted the relatively low death toll there compared with “a real catastrophe like Katrina” in 2005.
The mayor of Puerto Rico’s capital, San Juan, called the president’s visit to the U.S. territory “insulting” and called him the “miscommunicator-in-chief.”
“This was a PR 17-minute meeting,” Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz told MSNBC. “There was no exchange with anybody, none of the mayors and in fact, this terrible and abominable view of him throwing paper towels and throwing provisions at people. It does not embody the spirit of the American nation.”
Trump tweeted it had been a “great day” in Puerto Rico, while also attacking the media reporting of his trip.
“Wow, so many Fake News stories today. No matter what I do or say, they will not write or speak truth,” Trump tweeted.
Oct. 2: ‘An act of pure evil’
Following the horrific mass shooting in Las Vegas Sunday night Trump used a solemn address from the White House on Monday to call for unity and to label the massacre an “act of pure evil.”
“Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one — a parent, a child, a brother or sister,” Trump said. “We cannot fathom their pain. We cannot imagine their loss.”
However, what was absent from his speech or any statements from his administration was any talk about gun control laws.
“There’s a time and place for a political debate, but now is the time to unite as a country,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said at a press briefing on Monday. “There is currently an open and ongoing law enforcement investigation. A motive is yet to be determined. And it would be premature for us to discuss policy when we don’t fully know all the facts, or what took place last night.”
She noted Chicago has “the strictest gun laws in the country” yet still sees thousands of gun-related crimes committed each year. This claim has been thoroughly debunked by fact-checking organizations, including PolitiFact.
And just days after Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price resigned after spending hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars on private planes, another senior Trump administration official is reportedly being investigated for the same reason.
Politico reported Monday the head of the agency, Ryan Zinke, is being investigated for a series of trips that included a $12,000 charter plane from Vegas to his home state of Montana, as well as private flights between Caribbean islands and military flights in Alaska, Norway, and Montana.
— With files from the Associated Press
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